DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter has been getting bullied in school. She just turned 11. She is a bit slow in school because she has dyslexia, but she is able to function well in a normal classroom setting. The other girls in her class often make fun of her because she is a slow reader and writer; they do not understand that she is learning impaired. The teachers have not been involved, and I am hurt that my daughter is so upset when she comes home from school. I have tried calling the school, but it has not been helpful at all. Should I go directly to the parents of these children? -- Upset and Worried, Manhattan, New York
DEAR UPSET AND WORRIED: Schedule an appointment with your daughter's teacher, guidance counselor and the principal. Get someone to respond. At the meeting, explain what your daughter's condition is and what support you need the school to offer her. Let the officials know that other children are ridiculing her and crushing her feelings. Ask them to be more observant so that they can support her during moments of bullying.
Find out if you can get an educational adjustment program (EAP) for your daughter that will provide additional help for her special needs.
If the school remains unwilling to help you, consider changing schools. Your daughter deserves to attend a school that will pay attention to her needs and help other students to be mindful. As far as going to the other parents, that is often tricky. Without the backup of the educators to help reinforce good behavior, it could easily turn into your daughter's word against their children's.